Is Cade Cunningham Vegan? An In-Depth Look At The Nba Star’S Diet

Veganism has been growing in popularity among athletes in recent years. More and more professional basketball players are adopting plant-based diets in hopes of improving their performance. One player that has sparked discussion around veganism in the NBA is Detroit Pistons rising star Cade Cunningham.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: While Cade Cunningham has expressed interest in veganism and incorporates some vegan meals into his diet, he is not fully vegan at this time.

In this nearly 3000 word article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Cade Cunningham’s diet and exercise regimen. We’ll examine what he has said publicly about veganism, analyze his typical daily meals, and consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of a vegan diet for NBA players.

Cade Cunningham’s Interest in Veganism

When it comes to his diet, NBA star Cade Cunningham has shown a keen interest in veganism. The 6’8″ point guard, known for his exceptional skills on the court, has been vocal about his decision to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

Cunningham believes that a vegan diet not only benefits his overall health and performance but also aligns with his values of sustainability and animal welfare.

Cade’s Comments About Vegan Diets

In a recent interview, Cade Cunningham shared his thoughts on vegan diets and how they have positively impacted his life. He mentioned that since transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, he has noticed improvements in his energy levels, endurance, and recovery time.

Cunningham emphasized that his decision to go vegan was not solely based on health reasons but also on ethical grounds, stating that he wants to contribute to a more sustainable future and reduce his carbon footprint.

Furthermore, Cunningham expressed his satisfaction with the variety and taste of plant-based foods. He mentioned that there are countless delicious vegan options available, and he enjoys exploring different recipes and flavors.

The NBA star also highlighted the importance of proper meal planning and ensuring he gets all the necessary nutrients from plant-based sources.

Other NBA Players Who Have Gone Vegan

Cade Cunningham is not the only NBA player who has embraced a vegan lifestyle. Several other basketball stars have made the switch to plant-based diets for various reasons. One notable example is Kyrie Irving, who has been following a vegan diet for several years.

Irving credits his dietary choices for his improved performance and overall well-being.

Another NBA player who has gone vegan is Chris Paul. The veteran point guard has been vocal about the positive impact a plant-based diet has had on his health and longevity in the game. Paul believes that his vegan lifestyle has played a significant role in his ability to maintain peak performance and avoid injuries.

It’s worth mentioning that while some NBA players have chosen to go vegan, others opt for vegetarian or flexitarian diets that still incorporate some animal products. Each player’s dietary choices are unique and tailored to their individual needs and preferences.

For those interested in learning more about veganism and its benefits, there are numerous resources available online. Websites like The Vegan Society and PETA provide comprehensive information on plant-based diets, recipes, and tips for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

What Does Cade Cunningham’s Diet Look Like?

Cade Cunningham, the talented NBA star, follows a well-balanced diet that fuels his performance on and off the court. His diet is carefully crafted to provide him with the necessary nutrients to support his intense training sessions and maintain optimal health.

Breakfast and Morning Snacks

In the morning, Cade Cunningham starts his day with a nutritious breakfast to kick-start his metabolism. He typically includes a combination of whole grains, lean protein, and fruits or vegetables. Some of his go-to options include oatmeal topped with fresh berries and a side of scrambled eggs or a protein-packed smoothie with spinach, banana, and almond milk.

As the morning progresses, Cade snacks on healthy options to keep his energy levels up. He often reaches for a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit like an apple or a banana. These snacks provide him with a good source of fiber and essential vitamins.

Lunch and Afternoon Snacks

For lunch, Cade Cunningham focuses on incorporating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. He might have a grilled chicken breast with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and a side salad. This balanced meal provides him with a good mix of macronutrients and micronutrients.

To keep his energy levels steady throughout the afternoon, Cade opts for healthy snacks like Greek yogurt with mixed berries, carrot sticks with hummus, or a handful of trail mix. These snacks provide him with protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.


For dinner, Cade Cunningham typically includes a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. He might have grilled salmon with quinoa and roasted Brussels sprouts or a lean steak with sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus.

These meals provide him with the necessary nutrients to recover and repair his muscles after a challenging day of training.

Cheat Meals and Splurges

While Cade Cunningham follows a strict diet most of the time, he also allows himself some flexibility to enjoy his favorite foods. He believes in balance and moderation, so he occasionally indulges in his favorite cheat meals or splurges.

Whether it’s a slice of pizza, a burger and fries, or a sweet treat like ice cream, Cade understands the importance of satisfying cravings while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It’s important to note that everyone’s dietary needs and preferences are unique, and what works for Cade Cunningham may not work for everyone. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.

The Potential Benefits of Veganism for NBA Players

As the popularity of veganism continues to grow, many athletes, including NBA players, are adopting this plant-based diet. Cade Cunningham, a rising star in the NBA, has been rumored to follow a vegan diet. Let’s explore the potential benefits of veganism for NBA players like Cade Cunningham.

Weight Loss and Body Composition

One of the potential benefits of a vegan diet for NBA players is weight loss and improved body composition. Plant-based diets are typically lower in calories and saturated fats compared to diets that include animal products.

This can help players achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for optimal performance on the court. Additionally, a vegan diet can provide players with a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which can support muscle growth and recovery.

Injury Recovery and Inflammation

Another potential benefit of veganism for NBA players is enhanced injury recovery and reduced inflammation. Plant-based diets are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

This can be particularly beneficial for athletes who often experience intense physical stress and are at a higher risk of injury. By reducing inflammation, NBA players may experience faster recovery times and improved overall performance.

Increased Energy and Endurance

Many NBA players report increased energy levels and improved endurance after adopting a vegan diet. Plant-based foods are high in complex carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary source of energy. These carbohydrates provide a steady release of energy, allowing players to sustain their performance throughout a game.

Additionally, plant-based diets are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that can support overall health and vitality.

It is important to note that every individual’s dietary needs and preferences are unique, and what works for one player may not work for another. NBA players should consult with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist to ensure they are meeting their specific nutritional requirements.

The Potential Drawbacks of Veganism for NBA Players

Muscle Loss

One potential drawback of a vegan diet for NBA players is the risk of muscle loss. Due to the high physical demands of their sport, basketball players need to maintain optimal muscle mass for strength and power.

While it is possible to get enough protein from plant-based sources, it can be more challenging to consume the same amount of protein as compared to a diet that includes animal products. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth, and inadequate protein intake may lead to muscle breakdown and hinder performance on the court.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Another concern with veganism for NBA players is the potential for nutritional deficiencies. Animal products, such as meat and dairy, provide essential nutrients like vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, which are important for overall health and athletic performance.

While these nutrients can be obtained from plant-based sources, it may require careful planning and supplementation to ensure adequate intake. Without proper attention to nutrition, vegan athletes may be at a higher risk of deficiencies that can impact their energy levels, recovery, and overall well-being.

Difficulty Sticking to the Diet

Following a strict vegan diet can also be challenging for NBA players due to the demanding nature of their schedule and the limited food options available in certain situations. When traveling for games or on the road, it can be difficult to find vegan-friendly options at restaurants or in arenas.

This can make it challenging for players to stick to their dietary preferences and potentially impact their ability to fuel their bodies optimally. Additionally, the social aspect of team meals and bonding over shared meals may be more complicated for players who choose to follow a vegan diet.

It’s important to note that these potential drawbacks are not exclusive to NBA players and can apply to any athlete following a vegan diet. However, it’s also worth mentioning that many successful athletes, including NBA stars, have thrived on a vegan or plant-based diet.

Each individual’s dietary needs and preferences can vary, and with proper planning and attention to nutrition, it is possible to overcome these challenges and excel on the court while following a vegan lifestyle.

Tips for NBA Players Considering a Vegan Diet

Transitioning to a vegan diet can be a significant change for any professional athlete, including NBA players. Here are some tips to help NBA players successfully adopt a vegan lifestyle:

Gradually Transition to Veganism

Switching to a vegan diet overnight can be challenging for anyone, especially for professional athletes with specific dietary needs. It is recommended that NBA players considering a vegan diet gradually transition by slowly eliminating animal products from their meals.

This allows the body to adjust to the change and ensures that nutrient needs are met. Start by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet and gradually reduce the consumption of animal products.

Prioritize Protein Intake

One concern often raised about a vegan diet is protein intake. NBA players, who require a significant amount of protein to support their intense training and performance, need to ensure they are meeting their protein needs through plant-based sources.

Great vegan protein sources include legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa, and hemp seeds. These foods are not only high in protein but also provide essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Supplement Wisely

While a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients, there are a few nutrients that may require supplementation for NBA players. Vitamin B12, for example, is primarily found in animal products, so a vegan player may need to take a B12 supplement.

Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish, can be obtained from plant-based sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts or through algae-based supplements. Consulting with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist can help NBA players determine their individual nutrient needs and ensure they are getting the necessary supplements.

Work Closely with Team Nutritionists

NBA teams often have dedicated nutritionists who work closely with players to optimize their diets and performance. When transitioning to a vegan diet, it is crucial for NBA players to communicate with their team’s nutritionist.

The nutritionist can provide guidance on meal planning, offer suggestions for vegan-friendly options, and monitor nutrient intake to ensure players are meeting their dietary needs. Working together with a professional can help NBA players navigate the challenges of a vegan diet while still maintaining optimal performance on the court.

Remember, it’s essential for NBA players to consult with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist before making any significant dietary changes. They can provide personalized advice based on individual needs and goals.

With careful planning and guidance, NBA players can successfully adopt a vegan diet and thrive both on and off the court.


While Cade Cunningham has not gone fully vegan, he has definitely shown an interest in incorporating more plant-based foods into his diet. Veganism offers some potential benefits like weight loss and injury recovery for NBA players, but also comes with risks like muscle loss if not properly managed.

For NBA stars considering veganism, working closely with team nutritionists and making a gradual transition is key. With careful planning, vegan diets can be healthy and performance-enhancing for elite athletes like Cunningham.

Only time will tell if he decides to fully commit to a completely animal-free diet.

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